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What is the main theme of the giver?

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jls31494 | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted March 7, 2007 at 8:08 AM via web

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What is the main theme of the giver?



Tagged with literature, the giver, themes

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alexb2 | eNotes Employee

Posted March 7, 2007 at 9:33 AM (Answer #1)

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There is not one main theme, but the major themes are:

Death
Coming of Age
The Individual vs. Society

If you had to pick one, you could say "Coming of Age", because this is central to the main character, Jonas' journey through the book.

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brendawm | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator

Posted November 24, 2007 at 2:13 AM (Answer #2)

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The Giver has several themes.  The most important themes of the story are:

Coming of Age Twelve is the most important time in these characters’ lives.  After that, age is not considered important. This is the age to leave childhood behind, and at this time, your life’s calling is decided.

Sex is a purely “mechanical affair” in which girls are chosen at age 12 to become birthmothers and spend 3 years at the Birthing Center having 3 babies that they do not raise, but who are given to volunteer families.  Sexual urges are suppressed in all others.

Death is referred to as Release from the community and going Elsewhere.

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hjkl | Student | eNoter

Posted March 2, 2010 at 5:55 AM (Answer #3)

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the main theme of the giver is choice.  Think about all the choices that jonas has to make in the giver.  If you really think about the whole book and what happens in it then you would see that its choice

 

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swimma-logan | Student , College Freshman | Valedictorian

Posted May 25, 2011 at 9:38 PM (Answer #5)

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The Importance of Memory

One of the most important themes in The Giver is the significance of memory to human life. Lowry was inspired to write The Giver after a visit to her aging father, who had lost most of his long-term memory. She realized that without memory, there is no pain—if you cannot remember physical pain, you might as well not have experienced it, and you cannot be plagued by regret or grief if you cannot remember the events that hurt you. At some point in the past the community in The Giver decided to eliminate all pain from their lives. To do so, they had to give up the memories of their society’s collective experiences. Not only did this allow them to forget all of the pain that had been suffered throughout human history, it also prevented members of the society from wanting to engage in activities and relationships that could result in conflict and suffering, and eliminated any nostalgia for the things the community gave up in order to live in total peace and harmony. According to the novel, however, memory is essential. The Committee of Elders does recognize the practical applications of memory—if you do not remember your errors, you may repeat them—so it designates a Receiver to remember history for the community. But as Jonas undergoes his training, he learns that just as there is no pain without memory, there is also no true happiness.

The Relationship Between Pain and Pleasure

Related to the theme of memory is the idea that there can be no pleasure without pain and no pain without pleasure. No matter how delightful an experience is, you cannot value the pleasure it gives you unless you have some memory of a time when you have suffered. The members of Jonas’s community cannot appreciate the joys in their lives because they have never felt pain: their lives are totally monotonous, devoid of emotional variation. Similarly, they do not feel pain or grief because they do not appreciate the true wonder of life: death is not tragic to them because life is not precious. When Jonas receives memories from the Giver, the memories of pain open him to the idea of love and comfort as much as the memories of pleasure do.

The Importance of the Individual

At the Ceremony of Twelve, the community celebrates the differences between the twelve-year-old children for the first time in their lives. For many children, twelve is an age when they are struggling to carve out a distinct identity for themselves, differentiating themselves from their parents and peers. Among other things, The Giver is the story of Jonas’s development into an individual, maturing from a child dependent upon his community into a young man with unique abilities, dreams, and desires. The novel can even be seen as an allegory for this process of maturation: twelve-year-old Jonas rejects a society where everyone is the same to follow his own path. The novel encourages readers to celebrate differences instead of disparaging them or pretending they do not exist. People in Jonas’s society ignore his unusual eyes and strange abilities out of politeness, but those unusual qualities end up bringing lasting, positive change to the community.

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mina123456789 | Student , Undergraduate | eNoter

Posted August 29, 2011 at 5:41 PM (Answer #7)

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Well I wouldnsay that the givers major themes would be releasong people, relationshops between one an other and obviously individuality
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ilyaustinb | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted December 6, 2011 at 10:56 PM (Answer #8)

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OK. NoOne Wants 2 Read A Essay! So Just Make Your Answer A Little Bit Shorter smimma-logan.. By About a 1,000 Words! Heres Ur Answer:

•More than 1.

•Death

•Coming of Age

•Individual Vs. Society

So Just Shorten Stuff Up

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mandyamibeth14 | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:13 PM (Answer #9)

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Pleasure cannot give you true happiness. But if you pair it with pain, you can try to compare what the world was once before and this can give you, YOUR TRUE HAPPINESS..

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onur1tuna | Student , Grade 9 | eNoter

Posted February 23, 2012 at 1:13 AM (Answer #10)

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The importance of memory, the importance of individuality and freedom of choice are the main themes of the Giver because first of all, memories are most important tools to great a culture and the topic of the novel is almost totally about that. Moreover, freedom of choice is so important and I think it includes individuality. It is important because everything in the society is under control. Climate, sexuality, popularity, feelings,jobs, education etc. If those people are allowed think and chose their life, they realise that their whole life is illogical and they will try to escape and there will be chaos.

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dasnczeng | Student , Undergraduate | Honors

Posted June 27, 2012 at 7:55 PM (Answer #11)

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I believe that the main theme of The Giver is emotion.  Throughout the entire book you see that this utopian society is denying its people emotional freedom.  They must take pills to control "Stirrings."  Also, the reason why The Giver and Jonas planned for him to run away was so the people would have to see the truth and bear these memories and emotions by themselves.  The people of Jonas' community are able to release (kill) people with no problems whatsoever.  That's just how unemotional they are.

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joannvac | eNoter

Posted January 30, 2014 at 3:43 PM (Answer #13)

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One main theme is:  "Memories should be shared and are important to the future".  In other words, memories of the past help one to not repeat the bad things that have happened.  Memories, both good and bad, make one stronger and wiser.

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